Sport-locker.net preview the Champions League final first between Chelsea and Bayern Munich…
TERRY’S ABSENCE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE?
Chelsea supporters might be cursing the rush of blood that led to John Terry receiving a red card in the Champions League semi-final, which means he misses the Champions League final on Saturday. However, Castrol EDGE Performance data suggests that the Blues should not dwell the loss of their captain.
Since Terry’s Champions League debut for Chelsea, he has played in 85 Champions League games and only missed 14. When Terry has missed out, Chelsea have won 57% of their games, compared with less than half (49%) when he has played. Furthermore, they have conceded 0.82 goals per game with Terry in the team, compared with 0.79 when he has not been.
These statistics may show that Terry is often left out for games that Chelsea expect to win but for Chelsea fans it may prove that all is not lost when Terry saw red at the Nou Camp.
CHELSEA AND BAYERN LOOK TO WINGERS FOR INSPIRATION
During the Champions League final, Chelsea’s Florent Malouda and Juan Mata go head to head with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Castrol EDGE Performance Data shows that Franck Ribery leads the way in the Champions League with five assists and a pass completion rate of 88%. This is particularly impressive considering that he has passed far more than the wide players, with his 608 attempts some way ahead of Mata’s 353. When combined with his 76 dribbles and three goals, Ribery is clearly the man Chelsea need to stop.
Ribery is closely followed by his team mate Arjen Robben. Although the Dutchman has only made seven appearances in the 2011/12 Champions League due to injury, he has scored more frequently than the other three, with his four goals coming once every 137.2 minutes.
Nevertheless, the Bayern duo is not superior in all respects. In particular, Mata and Malouda have crossed 49 and 35 times respectively with success rates of 37% and 40%. This is superior to both Ribery and Robben, who have far lower success rates of 17% and 18%. Interestingly, Malouda has provided as many assists (2) as Robben and Mata and his pass completion rate (87%) is second only to Franck Ribery (88%).
SCHWEINSTEIGER OUT TO STOP RESURGENT LAMPARD
Bastian Schweinsteiger spoke this week about his respect for Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard. Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that he will have his hands full trying to contain the Englishman during Saturday’s Champions League Final.
Schweinsteiger praised the way that Lampard “plays with his eyes” in attack, which is backed up by Lampard’s record of 3 goals, 7 shots on target and 3 assists in the 2011/12 Champions League. In contrast, Schweinsteiger has failed to score despite taking 10 shots, with 6 on target.
However, the German’s passing statistics stack up favourably against Lampard’s. Despite playing 3 games less than Lampard, he has only one less assist (2) and has made 471 passes to Lampard’s 357. This is an indication of the way that Bayern Munich have dominated their opposition in the 2011/12 Champions League.
Unsurprisingly, Schweinsteiger has made almost as many tackles as Lampard (21 compared to 23) despite playing 179 minutes less. His tackle success rate (57% to Lampard’s 39%) reaffirms his reputation as Germany’s premier holding midfielder.
NEUER V CECH: WILL THE CUP BE IN SAFE HANDS?
Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that in Cech and Neuer, both Chelsea and Bayern Munich have a world class goalkeeper, which could become crucial if the Champions League final goes to penalties.
Both have kept five clean sheets in the competition but it is Neuer who ostensibly has the more impressive record, conceding only 8 goals at a rate of one goal conceded every 128 minutes. By comparison, Cech has conceded 11 goals at a rate of one per 101 minutes.
However, Cech has come under more pressure than the German goalkeeper, having been forced to make 52 saves in total, compared to Neuer’s 32. He can also boast a spotless catch success rate of 18, with no drops.
GOMEZ V DROGBA: THE POACHER AND THE TALISMAN
Castrol EDGE Performance data shows us the subtle differences between Bayern Munich’s ruthless poacher Mario Gomez and Chelsea’s talismanic Didier Drogba and indicates their importance to their teams.
Drogba has played four less games and 330 less minutes than Gomez in the 2011/12 Champions League. However, Gomez’ twelve goals still give him a superior minutes per goal rate of 73.3 when compared to Drogba’s five goals at one per 110 minutes. The threat that Gomez poses is reinforced by his record of 39 shots with a shooting accuracy of 72%, which overshadows Drogba’s 20 shots with an accuracy of 40%.
However, Drogba dribbles more often (DD 27 MG 15) and with more success (DD 48% MG 33%). He has also managed two assists in the 2011/12 Champions League where Gomez has none.
Gomez has therefore become a reliable finisher for Bayern Munich but a lot will rest on whether his team can provide him with the opportunities to score. Drogba, on the other hand, will be looking to wreak havoc in the Bayern Munich half and provide the inspiration for Chelsea’s first Champion’s League title.
DI MATTEO: CUP CONQUEROR?
Roberto Di Matteo has overseen a revival in form that has led Chelsea to two major cup finals. Castrol EDGE Performance data shows the extent of Chelsea’s formidable cup form, which Di Mateo will be hoping can secure a first Champions League trophy for the London club.
Chelsea’s march to FA Cup glory saw them maintain a 100% win record across 4 games, conceding at a rate of 1 goal per game and scoring 14 times in total, at a rate of 3.5 goals per game.
Similarly, their Champion’s League form has seen them win all but one of their 5 games under Di Matteo, the other game being the impressive draw that they gained at the Nou Camp in the semi-finals.